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Alba Synchrotron Light Source (ALBA)
Hosting Legal Entity
Self-standing RI
Legal Status
carrer Llum 2-26, ALBA synchrotron, Cerdanyola del Vallès, PO: 08290, Barcelona (Spain)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
Current Status:
Operational since 2012
Operational since 2012
Under construction since 2006 to 2012
Design/planning since 2003 to 2006
Scientific Description
ALBA is a 3rd Generation Synchrotron Light facility located in Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain, and it is the newest source in the Mediterranean Area. It is governed by a public consortium created in March 2003: the Consortium for the Construction, Equipping and Exploitation of the Synchrotron Light Source (CELLS), owned and financed in equal part by the Spanish and the Catalonian Administration. ALBA has been identified as a “Singular Technological and Scientific Infrastructure” among the Spanish scientific infrastructures. It is networked with other Synchrotron Light Sources in and outside Europe through common European projects and bilateral collaboration agreements. The facility is based on a chain of accelerators which produce, accelerate up to 3 GeV and store in a synchrotron ring electron beams which emit Synchrotron Light ranging from infrared up to hard X-ray of tens of keVs. Eight beamlines are in operation at the moment, with four more under construction and the capacity to host up to 20. Buildings for conventional technical systems and for specialized laboratories complete the facility.

RI Keywords
Synchrotron radiation source, X-ray science and technology
RI Category
Intense Light Sources
Scientific Domain
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Chemistry and Material Sciences
Biological and Medical Sciences
Engineering and Energy
Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Mathematics
Access to Beamtime

ALBA is a public institution serving the academic world and public research institutes. At the same time one of its strategic priorities is to foster industrial R&D activities through technological transfer and private utilisation of beamtime. The ALBA vision is to become a centre of excellence in Synchrotron Light Scientific and Industrial applications and to achieve the status of a recognized world class facility in its field. Its mission is to research in, deliver and maintain methods and techniques with which to conduct cutting edge synchrotron light-based research and development, in such a way that knowledge and added value are pumped into the scientific and industrial communities, particularly the Spanish ones, with the ultimate goal of contributing to the improvement of well-being and progress of society as a whole.


The eight ALBA beamlines currently in operation can be classified into three groups according to their main scientific application areas: i) those devoted to Life Sciences; ii) those devoted to Condensed Matter Physics, especially magnetic structures, electronic properties and Nanoscience; and iii) those devoted to Chemistry with applications in Materials Science and different multidisciplinary areas.

Access Type
Remote, Mail-in, Physical
Access Mode
Excellence Driven
Number of Users
Number Year
1,600 2017
1,400 2016
1,200 2015
700 2014
600 2013
300 2012
Users Definition
User Demographics
National Users - 65.0% in 2017
European Users - 30.0% in 2017
Extra-European Users - 5.0% in 2017
Type of Users
Public research organisations - 97.0%
Industry/private companies - 3.0%
Date of last update: 17/10/2018
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